EVERY SUNDAY, TheScore.ie brings you some of our favourite pieces from the previous seven days.
1. “This is a story about the real cost of steroids in baseball — not the broken records, not the litigation, not the talk-show drone about the elite players who juiced and how to weigh their Hall of Fame candidacy. This is a story about the hundreds, even thousands, of anonymous ballplayers whose careers and lives were changed by a temptation that defined an era. It is also a story about the secrets we keep and the casualties we create when we allow the corrupt to go unspoken — especially when the corrupt is something far more horrific than steroids.”
The always-excellent Tom Verducci pens an award winner, this follow-up to his Sports Illustrated story on steroids in baseball a decade ago.
2. “There is little doubting that, in his prime, the Irish custodian possessed stupendous reflexes. It is this mastery of the ‘TV save’ upon which he forged the stellar reputation which as hit the buffers in the past week – in Championship Manager terms, there is little doubting that Given in his prime was a ‘Shot Stopping 20′ guy. During his time on Tyneside he worked behind some notoriously porous defences – the names Dabizas, Charvet, Distin and Bernard don’t exactly inspire confidence and this fact perhaps gilded Given’s reputation yet further.”
John Mc at ‘Bring Me The Head Of Keith Mincher’ traces Shay Given’s apparent dis-improvement.
3. “Remember Breandán Ó hEithir’s classic story (re-told in the final chapter of his seminal book Over The Bar) about Bill Doonan.
Well, Bill, a Cavan footballer, found himself working as a radio operator for the British Army during World War II. Then, all of shot like, Bill went missing from his regiment one September Sunday in 1943 when the lads were fighting the good fight in southern Italy, down Monte Cassino way. Seeing as his comrades in arms were so fond of Bill they set off, risking life and limb, in search of the man. They eventually happened upon Bill who was perched precariously up a tree where he was successfully attempting to eavesdrop on a signal from good old Ireland which was helpfully broadcasting a commentary from the All-Ireland football final between his native Cavan and Roscommon – Roscommon won that one 2-7 to 2-2. Sixty-nine years on I don’t believe that anybody has come anywhere near matching that story when it comes to illustrating what the GAA means to so many people.”
It might not sound like it, but Brian McDonnell actually previews the Cork-Tipp game here on his site, Blueblood.
4. “Most of the press and public rounded on Roy Keane when he said otherwise, too. Keane, by his very nature a divisive figure in Ireland, wondered whether it was right that Irish fans and players should celebrate coming out of Euro 2012 with nothing to show for it. Yet, for some of us at home, the sight of all those Irish fans in Gdansk, along with many FAI administrators, made us feel a bit queasy. How could the Irish fans be the best fans in the world when they don’t even bother to go to matches? The Aviva stadium is half-full for most international matches, but the lack of interest in football is felt most keenly in the Airtricity League. Today, Monaghan United announced that they would be leaving senior football.”
Niall Farrell asks are the Irish football-loving public really the best in the world on BackPageFootball?
5. “Every wrestling fan of my generation remembers the moment when he fell in love for the first time. It was July 30, 1985, the day that “Macho Man” Randy Savage spurned the overtures of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Mr. Fuji, “Classy” Freddy Blassie, “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, and some other guy in a hat — who were all volunteering their managerial services to the WWF’s newest rogue acquisition. Instead, he chose a new, never-before-seen manager: the lovely Miss Elizabeth.”
On Grantland, The Masked Man – yes, really – introduces the new Miss Elizabeth in pro-wrestling, AJ.
6. “What if we did this in Ireland? What if we were to look back over the last 30 years of Irish sport and pick out the moments and the people and the scandals that rocked us. Imagine 30 documentaries on the rare days of glory and the gut-punching defeats that left us biting our nails and slipping off the edge of our seats.And I think it would work. In the past we have seen some stunning sports documentaries on RTE, and it is one of the few things that the national broadcaster consistently produces excellently. I’ve made a list of the 30 film subjects that I would choose in my ideal world. And I stuck to the original 30 for 30 brief, they are all in the last three decades.”
Neil Treacy on Balls.ie draws up a manifesto of 30 documentaries that should be made. Good list.
What have we forgotten or missed?